Tracy Porter {home}

I don't think I've ever mentioned the work of the talented Tracy Porter on decor8 before. Time to talk Tracy! Let me tell you how I first found out about her because I didn't discover Ms. Porter on my own. It was through my friend Sondi that Tracy's work came into my life back in '01 when I moved from my Boston apartment into a huge barn in the country. I was completely overwhelmed by having to decorate a massive 2-story space with a mostly open concept on an extreme budget (under $300!).

Bohemian inspired Tracy Porter Rosewater bedding.

While I loved the old wide pine floors and the ceilings that went on forever, I was newly married and only had 3 rooms of furniture to fill a home with 7+ rooms, 2 bathrooms, a huge entryway, and a loft space. I had to tap into my creativity like never before. I relied on sewing and making things by hand a lot more back then. One can get lazy when there's no longer a strict budget to follow... That's when I started a little eBay store selling French-inspired vintage finds from flea markets -- the money I made was what I used to buy things for my barn.

A few of my Tracy books. :)
A picture of a glass cloche with a deer inside that inspired me back then from one of Tracy's books.

I remember Sondi visited from Maine right when I moved into the barn and felt drained and taxed from having such a large home. Perfect timing. She had with her piles of books to inspire along with her little truck so we could go to junk and antique stores to find goodies. It was our decorating girls weekend, a weekend I highly suggest for times when you're stuck in a creative rut. One of the books Sondi had was Tracy Porter's Dreams From Home. The Porter design vision as it was then felt a little busy for my taste, but elements of it appealed to me so I picked up a few of her books and allowed the diverse mostly country styles to influence a few of my decorating decisions in the barn - I painted the dining room pale mustard, made cafe curtains using French toile for the windows out of pillowcases, installed a petite chandelier in my walk-in closet, and started using cloches as table centerpieces. I was a city girl gone country, an apartment dweller suddenly in a ginormous old barn. I needed Sondi, Tracy, and anyone else to encourage me that I could do it.

Since those days, I no longer have my eBay store and my husband and I live in a different space (a carriage house now, we joke that eventually we'll have a home that wasn't first constructed for animals!), and of course my style has evolved along as I've (gulp) aged. But I've held onto books like Tracy's because they helped to inspire my overall design sense along with my travels, family, and other influences of course and so I find it hard to get rid of them. I can tell from Tracy's website that her style has evolved as well and parts of it I really like, like the blue Napoleon cabinet and the writer's desk and chair. In addition to furniture, lighting, and objects for the home, there is a complete collection of clothing, shoes, bags, and jewelry. Tracy is a busy lady! See for yourself...

Gorgeous Skylark bedding. Aw, just look at the transom window over that doorway. I vow to have them in my home someday, I'm so sad that so many have been removed from old buildings here in America. They aren't only charming, but they fill the room with light saving on energy making them very responsible and pretty.

Tracy is one designer that was a huge source of inspiration for me at one time and only recently have I tapped into some of her work again - like the gorgeous bedding and furniture that she carries. It's exciting to be at a point where I can look back to trace the steps of my own design journey. I'm sure you can trace your steps as well and if you haven't, give it a try today. Sit down with a pen and paper and list all the people, places, and things that have had an influence on your personal design sense. You may unearth some interesting and fascinating finds!

Who has inspired you? Please feel free to share them with us. :)

Psst: Tracy is a blogger and you can 'meet' her right here via a video she recently posted. Fun!

(images from tracy porter)